Vecna Robotics from No bot to Robot with the CEO Craig Malloy

Episode 89 January 19, 2023 00:26:48
Vecna Robotics from No bot to Robot with the CEO Craig Malloy
The Robot Industry Podcast
Vecna Robotics from No bot to Robot with the CEO Craig Malloy

Jan 19 2023 | 00:26:48


Hosted By

Jim Beretta

Show Notes

Warehouse automation: from no bots to robots

For podcast #89, I am pleased to welcome Craig Malloy. Craig is the CEO of Vecna Robotics, the leader in flexible material handling automation. Craig has more than two decades of experience founding, scaling and leading global companies in venture capital, publicly traded and private equity environments, including Lifesize, Bloomfire and ViaVideo. Before entering the corporate world, he served as a Lieutenant, Surface Warfare Officer and Nuclear Weapons Officer in the United States Navy. Craig holds a bachelor’s degree from the United States Naval Academy and a Master of Business Administration from the University of California, Los Angeles Anderson School of Management. 

What is happening at Vecna, can you give our listeners an update?

What does a Vecna robot look like?

What are your customers and prospects' pain points?

Is there a key industry that you are serving, a bulls eye customer?

You went to a trade event recently and took some polls of the visitors. Can you tell me a bit about what the question was and what you learned?

I am a warehouse owner or manager and I want to put robotics or automation in. How do I go from no bots to robots? What are the steps?

Who are the stakeholders? CEO, CFO, Plant managers?

How do you sell the robots?

USE Cases, typical and unusual?

What does the ROI discussion look like, has it changed with our complex labor situation?

How important is data to your customers and prospects? You produce locally, correct? Has supply chain affected production of bots?

You are located in Boston area, a very competitive industry for robotics. Is it challenging to keep talent and for what positions are you hiring?

Did we forget anything?

When you are not knee deep in autonomous robots, what do you like to do?

How can people get a hold of you?

To find out more about Vecna Robotics If you would like to reach out Craig Malloy, here is his LinkedIn profile can also reach out at him and his team at (617) 444-9263

Enjoy the podcast. Thanks for subscribing, thanks for listening.



Jim Beretta Customer Attraction Industrial Marketing & The Robot Industry Podcast

Thanks to our partners: A3 The Association for Advancing Automation and PaintedRobot.

If you would like to get involved with The Robot Industry Podcast, would like to become a guest or nominate someone, you can find me, Jim Beretta on LinkedIn or send me an email to therobotindustry at gmail dot com, no spaces.

Our sponsor for this episode is Ehrhardt Automation Systems. Ehrhardt builds and commissions robotic turnkey automated solutions for their worldwide clients. With over 80 years of precision manufacturing they understand the complex world of automated manufacturing, project management, supply chain and delivering world-class custom automation on-time and on-budget. Contact one of their sales engineers to see what Ehrhardt can build for you at [email protected]

Keywords and terms for this podcast: Craig Malloy, Vecna Robotics, #fromno-bottorobot #therobotindustrypodcast

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 Vener Robotics is a leading company in supply chain autonomy. We move pallets with autonomous vehicles for warehousing and manufacturing applications. Speaker 2 00:00:16 Hello everyone and welcome to the Robot Industry Podcast. We're glad you're here. And thank you for subscribing. I am Jim Beretta, and our guest for this podcast edition is Craig Malloy. Craig Malloy is the c e O of Vena Robotics, the leader in flexible material handling automation. Craig has more than two decades of experience founding, scaling, and leading global companies in venture capital, publicly traded and private equity environments, including life size, Bloomfire and via video. Before entering the corporate world, he served as a lieutenant surface warfare officer and nuclear weapons officer in the United States Navy. Craig holds a bachelor's degree from the United States Naval Academy and a Master's of Business Administration from the University of California, Los Angeles Anderson School of Management. Craig, welcome to the podcast. Speaker 0 00:01:03 Thanks for having me. It's great to be here. Speaker 2 00:01:05 Hey, what's happening at Vena? Can you give our listeners an update? Speaker 0 00:01:09 Sure. There's a lot of things going on at Vena. This is, uh, this is my first foray into, uh, supply chain warehousing, um, and, and robotics industry. And the thing that's really struck me is how un unimaginably large the opportunity is. Um, you know, this is a workflow. Uh, people driving forklift trucks to move pallets, move heavy, move, uh, heavy loads around manufacturing warehouses is a, you know, it's a workflow that hasn't changed in a hundred years since the invention of the forklift truck. And so there's just, uh, more opportunity than we can, uh, we can imagine. So we're, uh, we are, uh, very, very busy, uh, you know, optimizing and hardening our product solution and, uh, selling into, uh, to customers landing and expanding, uh, into some of the, the, you know, the leading, uh, leading companies in the, in, uh, in the United States. So it's, uh, super exciting time to be in this business. Speaker 2 00:02:01 Absolutely. You've picked a, a, uh, a business with lots of wheels on the bus, right? Speaker 0 00:02:06 <laugh>? Yes, that's, that's for sure. And, uh, the other fun thing about it is it's, you know, it's early days competitively, so, you know, for, uh, you know, an early, early stage growth company, uh, you know, you're not entering the business where, uh, you know, you're, you're coming in and you're competing against Microsoft and Google, you know, every day. So there's, uh, some, uh, some, some room to maneuver. And, uh, this is, you know, really exciting, um, citing new applications for customers as well. So there's, uh, there's lots of, uh, lots of interest in what we're Speaker 2 00:02:33 Doing. We're such a medium here in podcasting. I, I just kind of want to get an idea. What does a vena robot look like? Speaker 0 00:02:40 Well, a Vena, a vena robot looks like a, uh, a forklift truck or a, or a pallet or a pallet, uh, pallet truck. Probably, you know, most listeners would probably be more, more, uh, um, you know, more familiar with the, the profile of a, uh, of a forklift truck. Uh, we use electric forklift trucks. Uh, you know, sometimes the old, old school forklift trucks had a big propane tank on the back, looked like a beer keg. Uh, we, we use, uh, we use electric, electric forklift trucks. And then, um, you know, we convert, um, a, a standard new forklift vehicle into an autonomous mobile robot by, uh, mounting an autonomy kit, which is basically a Linux-based X 86 computer, but running, you know, very, very sophisticated, uh, uh, autonomy and robotic algorithms that our, uh, our team of engineers have developed for over, over many, many years. Speaker 0 00:03:31 Uh, and then we also mount a variety of, of 3D and 2D LIDAR sensors, uh, and high resolution imaging sensors, um, you know, as the input, uh, the eyes and ears of our, uh, of our, of our robot. And then they're, uh, you know, that's connected to, uh, to, to wifi, uh, in the, in the facilities, you get all the, all the benefits of, uh, you know, of an industrial internet of things, um, uh, device and application. So, uh, you'd see, uh, you know, if you saw one of our, of our vehicles in, uh, in a warehouse, it would look like a standard forklift truck with some, uh, a couple of extra, uh, you know, boxes mounted to it. And, uh, a couple of masks holding the lidars and a few blinky lights. And, uh, you know, running around with no driver on it. <laugh>, Speaker 2 00:04:15 What are your customers and your prospect customers? What are their pain points? I, I kind of imagine it, but I wanted to hear from you. Speaker 0 00:04:22 Yeah. The pain point today really is all, and for the 15 months that I've been been at the company, is really around labor availability, which, um, you know, morphs into really a business continuity discussion with the, with the customers. We hear customers say, um, we, you know, we can't go get new business for our, you know, for our third party logistics business, which is one of our major markets, because we don't have, we can't find people to staff the warehouse to go sell, you know, go sell our warehousing services to customers or a manufacturing company. A car manufacturer would, uh, tell us we can't, uh, staff our new electric vehicle, uh, factory w uh, because we just can't find enough people to, to move material around the, you know, around the, around the facility. So it's really a, becoming a business, a serious business continuity, um, uh, problem for, for our customers. Speaker 2 00:05:17 It's funny how, you know, I, in the old days, selling automation was all about quality or saving money or something. Now it's about staying in business. Speaker 0 00:05:26 It really, it really is. I mean, the, the quality and the reliability and the safety and the productivity, um, you know, is assumed they expect you to do that. That's table stakes. And we, you know, we won't be, we won't be in business very long if we, if we can't do that, but it's really about, um, you know, labor availability. And then the secondary issue is this, you know, kind of wage inflation. Um, and so it's just, um, it's, it's really, it's really been a struggle, uh, for customers. One, one customer that we, we serve, uh, up in Canada, a a large, um, third party logistics that serves a major retailer up there says their, that their particular warehouse is down 200 people. Wow. And so they're just d desperate to, um, you know, to, to, um, ha have our robots do more, more and more work for them. Speaker 2 00:06:06 Is there a key industry that you're serving? Like you, you mentioned, uh, three pl like a logistics companies, but is there some other bullseye customers that you're kind of got your eye on? Speaker 0 00:06:16 Sure. We have, there's, there's three primary, um, um, you know, kind of key, key selling propositions or, uh, ideal customer profile, uh, points that, um, where we, um, you know, where, where we, where, where we really shine. So, so the first is someone who has a large, uh, a large facility, let's call it 300,000 square feet or more. I used to think that was a large facility until I, until I went into, uh, you know, some 2 million, 2 million square foot warehouses. So a large facility. So that's number one. Number two is a, a company, uh, a manufacturing facility or, or warehouse facility that runs two shifts or more, meaning they, uh, they have, they need to hire two, two people, you know, to, to, to, um, you know, to use one forklift truck back to back in, in, in, in shifts. Many of our customers run 24 7. Speaker 0 00:07:02 Uh, you know, it's not uncommon that they do three shifts, but, uh, two, two shifts is, uh, you know, is kind of a, that, that, that, uh, that's really a sweet spot for us. And then they have the need to move, um, you know, a a large amount of heavy loads. It could be on a pallet specifically, that's probably most of what we do, but it could also be heavy loads on a tugger we use. Um, we have a, a homes, home goods, uh, retailer where we use, uh, where we move rugs and couches on, uh, on carts, uh, pulled behind a tugger, you know, an autonomous tugger. And then, uh, like an automotive, uh, we might, we might move, um, you know, a, a, a custom rack, um, that has, uh, some automotive components in it, but, but that it has pallet like pockets in, in the, in the bottom. Speaker 0 00:07:44 So this, this is kind of our, kind of our primary workflows. We serve three, three, um, markets segments, or vertical markets. One is, um, you know, automotive, or automotive like manufacturing, because they have, um, you know, they have lots of heavy things to move around, uh, to keep their production line going. The second is, um, large, uh, large retailers who run their own warehousing facilities, uh, who have their own distribution centers. And then the third is third party logistics, uh, companies that, um, that do outsourced warehousing for, uh, for other, other, other companies. And those are our, our three primary markets. And I'll talk a little bit about the ideal customer profile and, um, you know, al almost everyone in those, in those segments, um, who fits those customer profiles, it would be a, you know, could really benefit from, uh, from Avena solution. Speaker 2 00:08:29 Thank you, Craig. Craig, you went to a trade event recently, and you took some polls of the visitors, which I think is a cr very creative idea. Alan and I were chatting a little bit, and they said, Hey, listen, they went to a poll and they said like 90% of the people that you were, uh, had no idea of what, how, how they're gonna get there, right? How are they gonna deploy automation within their warehouses and within their facilities? And I thought, wow, that's a really good question, but a remarkable number of people. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:08:55 This is, this is so new for many, many of our customers, almost, almost every one of our customers that we, uh, to whom we speak. Um, this is a completely new, um, workflow, technology application for them. Some of the, uh, you know, some of the, the very, very large automotive, uh, companies have had experience with AGVs or, you know, wire guided autonomous vehicles. And they, and they, uh, you know, they use a lot of, obviously a lot of, uh, automation, um, robotic arms in, in, in, you know, assembly of vehicles and things. It's, this is very, very, uh, very, very new. Um, if you, if you were to look at another, another recent, uh, poll or survey study from Gartner, uh, you know, this is one of the highest priority, um, C-suite items for, for, for executives in the, in those industries. And yet, <laugh>, you know, 90% of the people have no idea how to get started. Speaker 0 00:09:45 So we're actually doing this webinar series, uh, and then we also, uh, we turned it into, uh, presentations for trade shows that we go to. It's called, uh, from NOBO to Robot. And we, uh, you know, we have some be best practices and principles that, um, you know, that help help customers along that, along that journey. And that's a lot of what we do in terms of our marketing as well. It's, it's educational materials. Sure. Uh, to help customers kind of get a, get a sense for what, what this, what what our technology can and, and, and can't do for them. Cause we'd obviously, um, don't serve every application in every, um, in, in, in every workflow. For instance, we, you know, we don't go out in the rain and outside today. So that's where, you know, we we're, we're, uh, we operate, uh, we operate in indoors. And so, you know, that's kind of a common cust uh, common question that, uh, that we get from customers. Speaker 2 00:10:30 So I'm, I'm a warehouse manager, and, uh, and I wanna put robots in. So how do I go from nobos to robots? Like, obviously I should join one of your webinars, <laugh>, but what are some of the <laugh>, I'm a big believer in webinars, but Speaker 0 00:10:42 Yeah, a couple things is, um, you know, we have a, a solution architects that can, that can have a, that have those, those early discussions with you. But a couple of, a couple of core principles are, you know, identify, um, a specific workflow that, uh, that you want. Don't try and don't try and bite off the whole thing at at one time, but, but find a, you know, find a, a, a specific workflow or a small, um, you know, a small operation where you can get, where you can get, get started and then start small. You know, start out with a start out with a few, um, you know, a, a a few vehicles. Uh, it gives a, it gives the customer a chance to get comfortable with, uh, with, uh, with us. It gives us to understand, um, you know, under understand the, you know, the, the customer's operations. Speaker 0 00:11:25 There's lots of common elements that we find in every, you know, in every warehouse or every manufacturing facility. But, but ev but they're all slightly different. Um, and then maybe most importantly, um, you know, the, the people on the, the people on the floor, the, the operators, the, you know, the, the people that work in the warehouse in the manufacturing facility, this is new for them as well. Um, you know, I think there's some, sometimes, uh, they feel like it's a, it's a threat to their job, but, but when we talk to the man, you know, the management of the, of those companies, it's, it's mostly about, um, you know, helping them and, and taking away the, um, you know, the, the really, the, the, the, the not so lovable jobs that they might not want to do long, you know, long half mile runs in giant warehouses, just kind of mindlessly driving thing, driving things around. Speaker 0 00:12:07 And, and, uh, conf confide a whole new career path for, uh, you know, for, uh, for people working in the warehouse, uh, as well, you know, in, in technology, being a, being a, you know, a robot wrangler, managing the, managing the, the technology, the robots rather than, um, you know, uh, than, than just lots of people. So, uh, this, start small, you know, find and find a, find a workflow, um, that you think is, you know, that you think's a good fit. And we can, uh, and we can, we can help you with that. And then, and then we can scale from there. No, you know, no physical, no physical infrastructure. Um, you know, you don't need to have a a million dollar investment in some kind of physical infrastructure to get, to get started. We can start with, um, you know, o one vehicle for, uh, you know, very, a very low, very low cost show success, uh, to us and to the customer, and then, and then grow from there. Speaker 2 00:12:49 Craig, I kind of imagine that your stakeholders are like the cfo, the ceo, and the plant manager, but there's an awful lot of stakeholders and a three PL or in a big, uh, manufacturer. Speaker 0 00:13:00 Sure. I mean, it's, uh, it's, you're right, this, the CFO is looking at the bottom line. Uh, most of these large companies have, um, industrial engineering teams, um, you know, maybe have been trained in robotics and, uh, in, in, in college. And, and, you know, and bringing, bringing those new ideas in, you know, they're often the tip of the spear in kind of an evaluation. Um, so that's, that's certainly part of it. But a real corcus constituent, and, and you mentioned it, is the operations team at the facility. If you don't get the buy-in, um, you know, really the buy-in and the acceptance of the operations team, uh, at, at, at the, the manufacturing and the warehousing facility, um, we're not just not gonna be successful. So, um, you know, we spend a lot of time, um, you know, with kind of both those constituencies, what is this gonna do for the bottom line of your business in terms of business continuity? And then how do we, not just not, uh, interrupt, but how do we, um, how do we make your operations better? How do we make your business go better? Speaker 2 00:14:00 And Craig, how do you sell robots? Is do you actually sell them like a, uh, for a price or is this, uh, robots as a service? What's kind of the status right now? Speaker 0 00:14:08 In the, in the last year, we've shifted our business model to, uh, the OPEX model of robot as a service. And what we're finding is we weren't sure how, uh, how that, how well that was gonna be accepted, because a lot of our customers are, you know, typically buy by their forklift trucks on a capital equipment cycle, uh, and budget it that way. Uh, but we're really selling the drivers that you can't hire is really what we're, is what really what we're selling. And so, uh, you know, we we're, what we're finding is that this, this robot has a service, a, um, you know, an an annual, an annual fee, uh, and then it, it's easier to put into perspective on how much you're saving. Um, and some customers buy bi monthly or quarterly, and so, you know, the, the return on investment is almost, almost immediate. Um, they, you know, if you're running two, two or three shifts, um, you know, the, our all-in service is just a frank, a fraction of what you'd be paying all those, paying all those people. And our, you know, our robots show up for, uh, show up, uh, ready to work every day, as long as you keep their batteries charged. Speaker 2 00:15:05 That's an important part. Right. And you're getting, one of the things I love about having automation in, uh, these types of co places get rid of all the propane fumes, which is, I think for everybody else is a great idea. Speaker 0 00:15:16 Yes, yes, yes, for sure. And we actually have, um, one of our customers has been talking to us about, uh, they're switching their, their material handling vehicles man manual and included hydrogen fuel fuel sales. So I think that's a, uh, that's a new, um, you know, something we're, we're exploring as well. Speaker 2 00:15:29 Craig, do you have any use cases, kind of like the typical and the unusual uses? Speaker 0 00:15:34 Sure. So to, so today, uh, and this is a, a massive market, and as you might imagine, there's, there's a number of, you know, adjacencies workflows, uh, throughout, throughout warehousing and manufacturing. And one of the most important things you can do as an early, you know, early growth stage company with, uh, you know, really reasonably limit limited resources. It's, it's, it's probably more important to decide what you're not going to do. <laugh> is what you are going to do. And so what, what Vena Robotics focusing on today, the first work, the first workflow where, um, you know, it's our goal to be the best in the world at this particular workforce is, is ground to ground and low lift movement of pallet size lows around warehousing and manufacturing. So ground to ground, like just moving it on the ground with a pallet truck or a low lift of or, or a forklift, and then low lift, putting it on a conveyor, putting it, uh, putting it into an or out of an a s RS system or onto a six foot rack. Speaker 0 00:16:23 So that's our, that's our sweet spot today. And, you know, just in the US that's, that's about a 10 billion, um, o opportunity. So just massive, massive opportunity. So we're really focused today on ground to ground and low lift. And then some of the future adjacencies, um, you know, that, that are, that are open to us, um, within the warehouses are things like trailer unloading. Um, you know, that's a, a bit of a specialization. Um, but, you know, using the same types of vehicles that we use, we use today. Another, uh, another, uh, a big opportunity is case picking, where turning, uh, you know, homogenous pallets into, uh, rainbow pallets to, to, uh, you know, to go to convenience stores or, or, or retail stores. And then, um, and then high reach, putaway, you know, as re as we as, um, warehouses go more and more vertical, being able to put up, put pallets into, into high, high racking. Speaker 0 00:17:11 So each one of those is a, is a, is a bit of a specialty, a, uh, you know, an adjacency to the, to the core technology we're building, but certainly is a, uh, there's just a lot of, there's a long, long runway in this, uh, in, in this market. But, but, but today, um, you know, we're focused on, on ground to ground and low lift. So it'd be, you know, dock to, uh, receiving dock to, uh, put away a receiving drug, uh, to cross docking or to end a vile for further or to a, uh, stretch wrapper for further processing or into an A S R s, you know, induction or something like, something of that, that nature. Speaker 2 00:17:42 The applications just seem to go on and on, so on and on. I think it's exciting for sure. Every, every 10 billion, right? Speaker 0 00:17:48 Every Yes. Yeah. No, yeah. It's just, uh, you know, if you just, you go by, you know, any major city and you see these massive, massive warehouses that are being, being, uh, built, uh, you know, kind of in the exurbs of, of these, uh, of these cities, they're, you know, they're, those, those warehouses are full of racks and hundreds of forklift trucks and hundreds of people. Those companies are struggling to find people to do that, to do that work. Speaker 2 00:18:12 And you mentioned roi, and so you've said in earlier, I think that the, the ROI was just almost automatic. So what does that roi, uh, conversation look like? Speaker 0 00:18:22 Well, we don't, um, I think, you know, when we first, when we first started selling, obviously we don't wanna go, go in and sort, uh, uh, you know, start negotiating on, uh, on ROI assumptions with the customer. I think we, we try and have a, haven't tried to have a, you know, business continuity discussion with the customer. Cause that's really the more, more subject. But, but if, you know, coming down to it, if you're running a three shift operation, uh, you know, a avena robot, it's a service, um, is about half of what you'd be paying all those, paying all those people. And that's really not including, um, the, the soft costs of, uh, of turnover and sick time and vacations and, uh, and damage and, and injuries. I, you know, your listeners may not know this, but there are tens of thousands of serious forklift accidents every year in the United States. Speaker 0 00:19:05 And this is, you can, you can look up that data on the OSHA website and, uh, you know, in dozens of deaths as well. Um, and so, you know, all of, whenever we go into one of our, our, our customer sites, there are, you know, safety on these, um, you know, large machines moving around with large loads in front of the driver's face, <laugh>. I mean, it's like, it's like, uh, you know, covering the windshield of your car and driving around some, in some cases, um, you know, as those, uh, as those trucks drive around for, you know, many times forks forward with the, with the load. Um, and so, you know, with the performance level d safety systems that we have on our, on our, uh, on our robots, um, you know, autonomous vehicles in a, in a, a warehousing manufacturing setting are, are safer, are actually, you know, proven safer than, um, than, you know, than than manual drivers. Speaker 0 00:19:55 Uh, and one of the things that's, you know, we, we borrow liberally from, uh, self-driving car technology. One of the reasons we'd be able to advance the state of the art so far is we've been leveraging, you know, leveraging all the, the great work that, you know, that comp that companies, um, you know, the many, many, many companies in the autonomous driving space have been, have been working on having, have invested tens of billions of dollars. And so, you know, driving, driving lidar down the cost curve and, uh, and, and, and up the performance curve. Um, so, you know, when we can deploy those in a much more controlled environment, um, you know, it's a, it's a, it's a far, far safer application than, um, you know, autonomous vehicles on the open road. The safety concern is kind of the other way still. And, and, and eventually, I'm sure it'll get there, but, um, you know, that's certainly one of the, the big inhibitors why they're, why they're not broadly, broadly deployed today. Speaker 2 00:20:42 Now, some great data there. And, and while we're talking about data, um, how important is data to your customers? Because this is something that they've probably never had before, right? Speaker 0 00:20:51 Yes. I mean, if you to, to sum it all up, I mean, what customers really wanna see is where are my robots and what are they doing <laugh>? And so, you know, and our goal is to, you know, to have that, those simple metrics on your phone. And so, you know, you could be sitting on the beach on vacation and, uh, you know, with the, with the, with the magic of, uh, cloud technology and then, uh, you know, industrial, um, you know, industrial iot devices, uh, and web technologies, um, you know, we can provide that, that kind of instant feedback to our, our, our customers. And then, um, you know, we, we have a data warehouse where we record everything that our ro that a robot ever sees, ever does, ever touches, ever picks up. Uh, and then we can use that for, uh, for learning in our, you know, in our next software release. All of our robots are software upgradable, um, over the, over the internet. Uh, and so we can, you know, contin continuously pro provide any, you know, any minor bug fixing or feature enhancements, um, just like, you know, just like your Apple TV box, is there any, any, any or your phone, um, you know, just, it just gets better over time, um, because we can upgrade your device and also what we've, you know, what we learn about it every day. Speaker 2 00:21:59 And, uh, you're, you're located in the Boston area and you're, you manufacture locally, do you? Speaker 0 00:22:05 Yes, we do. Um, yes, we do. We're, uh, company's headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, and, uh, you know, we have some sub, uh, subcontractors, make some sub assemblies. We do final, final assembly and tests in our, um, you know, in our, in our facility in, um, in, in Waltham. Speaker 2 00:22:21 And has supply chain touched you as well? Uh, I kind of assume it's touched everyone. Speaker 0 00:22:25 It has, yes. Um, you know, we, we've been, we've been scrambling, uh, quite a bit for the last, uh, the last couple of years to, uh, you know, to make sure that, you know, that we can keep our, um, you know, keep our line running and our customers, um, you know, our customers supplied. A couple of things we have going for is one is our, um, you know, the, the source of supply today for our forklift, uh, forklifts is, uh, is in the United States. So, you know, we don't have the, we don't have the added complication of, uh, you know, shipping over shipping from, uh, from overseas on a, on a, on a boat, on a, on a ship to get to get them. So that, uh, that's been a little bit of a, uh, that's been a little bit of a help. And then our, you know, our volume today, um, is not, um, you know, is not massive. Speaker 0 00:23:08 So we, you know, we can, if we, if we're short, you know, short a few components, we can, uh, we can generally buy them on the spot market without, uh, without breaking, without breaking the bank. I'm sure you've heard of the, um, you know, some of the stories of some of the, the, the car manufacturers where they couldn't get these chips and they have 10, you know, tens of thousands of vehicles where they're, you know, they're not able to, to, to send them to customers. So we're, we're, uh, uh, we're not, uh, you know, we haven't had that level of problem, but, uh, but it certainly has kept us on our toes. I know, keeping the, making sure that our, our bill of materials is always, uh, is always full. Speaker 2 00:23:39 And you're, uh, uh, I'm assuming you guys are hiring too. It's a very competitive market in, uh, in your part, part of the land for robotics. Speaker 0 00:23:46 Absolutely. You know, uh, senior, uh, senior developers in, uh, in, in robotics and cloud technologies are, are always in demand, uh, no matter the economic environment. And we're always, uh, you know, we're always looking to hire, hire great people in those, uh, in those areas. Speaker 2 00:24:01 So did we forget anything to chat about today? Speaker 0 00:24:04 Well, we've covered a lot of ground. No, I think that, uh, yeah, I just think, you know, this is just a super exciting area that's got a lot of room to run, um, and just scratching the service of what's possible and, uh, you know, love going in and, uh, and, and, uh, you know, and he helping customers, um, you know, make their, make their businesses work better. Speaker 2 00:24:22 And when you're not knee deep in, um, in robots, what do you like to do Speaker 0 00:24:27 <laugh>? Well, um, you know, being the, being the CEO of a growth stage company, uh, you know, provides a lot of stress occasionally. So, uh, like to get out and, uh, you know, do some pH, do some physical things, work, workout, swim, ride my bike, you know, play a little golf, uh, have, I have five kids, four daughters and, uh, and four daughters, one son and, and, uh, and four dogs, four Labrador living in my house. So it's, uh, it's pretty busy around here. Speaker 2 00:24:51 Never a quiet moment. Speaker 0 00:24:52 Yeah. Never, never Speaker 2 00:24:54 <laugh>. Uh, and how can people get in touch with someone at Vena or yourself? Speaker 0 00:24:59 Well, uh, the best way through our, probably through our, uh, our, our website, um, in Easy Google search, vena Robotics, um, got a brand new, uh, brand new website, uh, going up this week. And, uh, lots of ways to contact us on, uh, on there and, you know, get, uh, you know, have one of our folks immediately contact you back and learn a lot about, uh, learn a lot about what we're doing too with, uh, our new, uh, our new website is chalk full of, uh, educational materials, uh, how to get from, uh, Nobo to robot. Speaker 2 00:25:27 Thanks very much, Craig. Speaker 0 00:25:28 Thank you very much. Great, great talking to you. Speaker 2 00:25:31 Our sponsor for this episode is Earhart Automation Systems. Earhart builds and commissions turnkey solutions for their worldwide clients. With over 80 years of precision manufacturing, they understand the complex world of robotics, automated manufacturing and project management, delivering world class custom automation on time and on budget. Contact one of their sales engineers to see what Earhart can build for you. I'd like to thank A three, the Association for Advancing Automation. They're the leading automation trade association for robotics, vision and imaging motion control and motors, and the industrial artificial intelligence technologies. You can find [email protected]. And I'd like to recognize painted robot, painted robot builds and integrates digital solutions. They're a web development firm that offers SEO and digital social marketing, and can set up and connect CRM and other e r p tools to unify marketing, sales, and operations. You can find [email protected]. And if you'd like to get in touch with us at the Robot Industry Podcast, you can find me, Jim Beretta on LinkedIn. We'll see you next time. Thanks for listening. Be safe out there. Today's podcast was produced by Customer Attraction Industrial Marketing, and I'd like to recognize my nephew, Chris Gray, for the music, Jeff Bremner for audio production. My business partner Janet, and our sponsor, Earhart Automation Systems.

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